Roblox Complying to New Chinese Gametime Regulations
Several games in China are scrambling to become compliant with the new regulations that the Chinese government has implemented to reduce online game time for Chinese minors. One of these regulations is a real ID system that requires users to input their Chinese ID when logging on. Companies like Tencent and NetEase have rolled out real-name registration in order to play their games outside the allotted time slot for minors, and this has created a secondary market for ‘of-age’ accounts for games like Honor of Kings, as reported in this article by Kotaku. What wasn’t certain was whether or not games from international publishers would be subject to the same restrictions, or international users attempting to log into Chinese games from abroad. Now, we finally have answers to both those questions as it seems that Roblox China, or Luobu as it’s known among Chinese users, will be compliant to these new regulations.
The Robuck Stops Here – Roblox China’s Regulations and How Users Are Responding
According to Roblox news account RTC on Twitter, Luobu players must register their account with a Chinese ID in order to use the Luobu app. We tried to register for Luobu ourselves, but the registration process requires that a friend verify your WeChat account if it’s too new or doesn’t have contacts/friends.
Speaking with a Roblox user by the name of David, it seems that foreign users are unable to access the Luobo service unless they directly contact a Tencent representative on WeChat and identify themselves as a foreigner. This process doesn’t actively undermine Luobo’s real ID dialogue and requires that a Tencent administrator provide your account with permissions to access Luobo’s service at any time. Currently, there’s no confirmation as to whether this method works, but it shows the creativity of the Roblox community in attempting to circumvent China’s gametime regulations.
In an interview with VentureBeat, Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki stated that Roblox’s “real goal is… to make one experience that can work around the world in many languages,” implying a global infrastructure that allows users access to user-generated content that’s localized and accessible to them regardless of their location. With Chinese regulations locking Roblox China from the rest of the Roblox community, it undermines Baszucki’s mission statement.
As of right now, Roblox has not officially acknowledged Roblox China’s observance of the regulations.